Managing Your Career

Financial Advice for Graduates

17 Jun , 2015  

Kellogg Commencement

This week, almost one thousand people will graduate from Kellogg with their MBA degrees. They will then embark on careers that will span decades. Last year I posted some financial advice for the graduates, and some people found that useful, so this year I’m sticking with the theme. Those who read last year’s post will […]

Brands in the News

Houlihan’s Recovers from a Brand Stumble

3 Jun , 2015  

Houlihans

Every brand stumbles on occasion: an employee makes an inappropriate comment, service falls short of expectations, or a fly lands in the soup. These things happen. In today’s connected world, a small stumble can quickly become a big problem. People often share unpleasant incidents on social media, and if the story resonates, it can create lasting and significant damage. This means that brands have to move quickly to deal with […]

Branding Insights

Effective Advertising: 3 Keys to Success

20 May , 2015  

Wix 2015

Advertising isn’t that complicated. If a spot is going to have an impact on sales, it has to do three things. First, the spot has to stand out. It has to break through the clutter. People see thousands of ads everyday, and the number is only increasing, making it all too easy for individual spots to […]

Branding Insights

Three Reasons to Fire a Customer

6 May , 2015  

UPS

Shipping and logistics giant UPS reported its quarterly earnings last week. Results were good and the stock jumped. One reason UPS did well is that it dropped several large customers. On the surface this makes no sense at all. Companies generally want to keep customers, not lose them. The way to grow a business is to […]

Brands in the News

U.S. Airlines Fight Back

23 Apr , 2015  

Emirates

The big three U.S. carriers are fighting back. The aviation giants are appealing to the U.S. government, claiming that Emirates, Qatar and Etihad are competing unfairly. They hope the government will limit the new carriers’ access to the U.S. market. The strategy makes perfect sense. Delta, United and American have to defend. The Mid-East carriers […]

Branding Insights

Learning from Kraft: Results Matter

15 Apr , 2015  

Kraft Singles

It has been a rough few months for Kraft Foods. In late December CEO Tony Vernon stepped down. This was a blow for the organization because many people at Kraft liked his approach to leadership. He valued brands and people and was making some smart moves. Then in March, 3G Capital announced plans to acquire […]

Brands in the News

March Madness Advertising

7 Apr , 2015  

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Championship Game-Wisconsin vs Duke

Last night Duke and Wisconsin battled it out for the NCAA championship. It was a terrific game. The advertising wasn’t as impressive. Some advertisers ran the same spot over and over. Other brands got so caught up in the basketball that they lost track of their basic task: selling some product. Here is my assessment […]

Branding Insights

Wild, REI and the Power of Product Placement

27 Mar , 2015  

Wild

Last week I was in Europe teaching in Germany and Denmark. On the flight home I finished Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild and then watched the movie. I recommend both. Two brands get special recognition in Wild: Snapple and REI. Outdoor retailer REI particularly stands out. In the movie, Strayed struggles with blisters because her boots […]

Brands in the News

Apple Watch and Pay: Searching for the Benefit

13 Mar , 2015  

Apple Watch

Apple is rolling out two big innovations this year: Apple Watch and Apple Pay. These new products will be important growth drivers. Of course, that assumes they will be successful. Most people think the both products will do well. After Apple’s press conference this week, business and technology writers celebrated the watch. People are excited […]

Brands in the News

Cadillac’s Curious Start

5 Mar , 2015  

Cadillac

GM is trying to rebuild Cadillac, again. While the brand has a long history, it is struggling today as it deals with tough competition in premium autos. It now ranks #4 in the luxury segment, far behind BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. More important, the associations around Cadillac aren’t positive. Many people think of the brand […]